The Most Dangerous Game Adapted by: Alyssa Poulsen, Abby McMillen, and Ayla Randall
God makes men many things. He made me a hunter. When I was only five years old he gave me a little gun, specially made for me, to shoot sparrows with. When I shot some of his prize turkeys with it, he did not punish me; he complimented me on my marksmanship.
In the Carribean Sea somewhere...
Off there to the right--somewhere--is a large island. It's rather a mystery--
What island is it?
The old charts call it 'Ship-Trap Island'. A suggestive name isn't it? Sailors have a curious dread of the place. I don't know why. Some superstition--
Can't see it.
You've good eyes, and I've seen you pick off a moose moving in the brown fall bush at four hundred yards, but even you can't see four miles or so through a moonless Caribbean night."
Nor four yards. Ugh! It's like moist black velvet.
That place has a reputation--a bad one.
Hardly. Even cannibals wouldn't live in such a God-forsaken place. But it's gotten into sailor lore, somehow. Didn't you notice that the crew's nerves seemed a bit jumpy today?
They were a bit strange, now you mention it. Even Captain Nielsen--
An evil place can, so to speak, broadcast vibrations of evil. Anyhow, I'm glad we're getting out of this zone. Well, I think I'll turn in now, Rainsford.
I'm not sleepy, I'm going to smoke another pipe up on the afterdeck.
Rainsford smoking on the afterdeck.
Rainsford's cigar bumps a rope as he climbs up and it falls out of the boat.
He tries to reach out and get it, but he went out to far and falls off the boat.
It came out of the darkness, a high screaming sound, the sound of an animal in an extremity of anguish and terror.
Rainsford began to swim toward the sound. That's when he heard another noise. This one was crisp and stacatto.
Rainsford makes it to Ship-Trap Island.
He walked toward the jungle.
He found a place to sleep.
When he woke up he was very hungry. Then, a smile came across his face.
Where there are pistol shots, there are men. Where there are men, there is food.
Some wounded thing--by the evidence, a large animal--had thrashed about in the underbrush.
The jungle weeds were crushed down and the moss was lacerated; one patch of weeds was stained crimson. A small, glittering object not far away caught Rainsford's eye and he picked it up. It was an empty cartridge.
A twenty-two. That's odd. It must have been a fairly large animal too. The hunter had his nerve with him to tackle it with a light gun. It's clear that the brute put up a fight. I suppose the first three shots I heard was when the hunter flushed his quarry and wounded it. The last shot was when he trailed it here and finished it."
He examined the ground closely and found what he had hoped to find--the print of hunting boots.
He quickly started to follow them.
Bleak darkness was blacking out the sea and jungle when Rainsford sighted the lights.
As he forged along he saw to his great astonishment that all the lights were in one enormous building--a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom.
He lifted the knocker, and it creaked up stiffly, as if it had never before been used. He let it fall, and it startled him with its booming loudness.
The door opened then--opened as suddenly as if it were on a spring--and Rainsford stood blinking in the river of glaring gold light that poured out.
Don't be alarmed, I'm no robber. I fell off a yacht. My name is Sanger Rainsford of New York City.
The first thing Rainsford's eyes discerned was the largest man Rainsford had ever seen--a gigantic creature, solidly made and black bearded to the waist. In his hand the man held a long-barreled revolver, and he was pointing it straight at Rainsford's heart.
I'm Sanger Rainsford of New York, I fell off a yacht. I am hungry.
I've read your book about hunting snow leopards in Tibet, you see, I am General Zaroff.
Ivan is incredibly strong, but is deaf and dumb. A simple fellow, but, like all his race, a bit of a savage.
Is he Russian?
He is a Cossack, as am I
Come, we shouldn't be chatting here. We'll talk later. You want clothes, food, rest. You shall have them. This is a restful spot
Follow Ivan, I was about to have my dinner when you came. I'll wait for you. You'll find that my clothes will fit you, I think
You'll have a cocktail, Mr. Rainsford
The general was a thoughtful and friendly host. But there was one small trait that made Rainsford uncomfortable.Whenever he looked up he found the general studying him,appraising him narrowly.
Not at all
We do our best to preserve the amenities of civilization here. Please forgive any lapses. Do you think the champagne has suffered from its long ocean trip?
You have some wonderful heads. That Cape Buffalo is the largest I ever saw
Perhaps you were surprised that I recognized your name. You see, I read all books on hunting published in English,French, and Russian. Hunting is the the one passion I have in life
I always thought the Cape Buffalo was the most dangerous out of all big game
Oh, yes he was a monster, hurled me against a tree and fractured my skull. But I got the brute
There is big game on this island?
No, you are wrong. The Cape buffalo is not the most dangerous big game. Here in my preserve on this island,I hunt more dangerous game."
The biggest. It's not natural though so I have to stock the island.
What have you imported, tigers?
No, hunting tigers ceased to interest me years ago.No thrill left in tigers, no real danger. I live for danger.
I may say, in all modesty, that I have done a rare thing. I have invented a new sensation.
I killed my first bear when I was ten. I went into the army and for a time commanded a division of Cossack cavalry, but my real interest was always the hunt. I have hunted every kind of game in every land. It would be impossible for me to tell you how many animals I have killed."
I continued to hunt. In Africa the Cape buffalo hit me and laid me up for six months. When I recovered I went the Amazon to hunt jaguars because I heard they were cunning. They weren't. I was bitterly disappointed. I was lying in my tent with a headache when I realized, hunting was beginning to bore me! And hunting had been my life.
It had become too easy. I always got my quarry. There is no greater bore than perfection
A new animal? You're joking
No animal had a chance with me. Instinct was no match for reason. I had to invent a new animal
But what's the animal general?
I never joke about hunting. I needed a new animal so I found one and built this house and hunt here
I hunt it every day--and don't grow bored of it, for I have a quarry that that match my wits
But no animal can reason
This animal has the perfect attributes. It has courage, it's cunning and, above all it can reason.
You don't mean--
But there is one that can.
You can't be serious. This is a grisly joke
And why not?
Hunting? You are speaking of murder!
Why shouldn't I be serious, I'm talking about hunting.
Did not make me a cold-blooded murderer
I don't believe that someone so modern and civilized like you harbors romantic ideas about the value of human life. Surely your experiences in the war--
But they are men
Life is for the strong. The weak of the world were put here for the strong's pleasure. If I want to hunt, why shouldn't I?
But where do you get them?
Exactly, that's why I use them. They can reason, so they are dangerous, which brings me pleasure
This island is called Ship Trap. Sometimes the angry God of the high seas sends them to me, but sometimes when Providence is not so kind, I help Providence a bit. Come to the window with me
Watch! Out there!
They indicate a channel, where there's none, giant rocks with razor edges crouch like a sea monster with wide-open jaws. They can crush a ship.
Civilized? And you shoot down men?
Oh, yes, I have electricity. We try to be civilized here.
What do you mean?
I assure you I do not do the thing you suggest. That would be barbarous. I treat these visitors with every consideration. They get plenty of good food and exercise. You shall see for yourself tomorrow.
It's a game, you see, I suggest to one of them that we go hunting. I give him a supply of food and an excellent hunting knife. I give him three hours' start. I am to follow, armed only with a pistol of the smallest caliber and range. If my quarry eludes me for three whole days, he wins the game. If I find him, he loses
It's a game, you see, I suggest to one of them that we go hunting. I give him food and a hunting knife. I give him three hours' start. I follow, with only a pistol of the smallest caliber and range. If he hides from me for three days, he wins the game. If I find him, he loses.